17 October 2014
Lizzy Molebale, 69, says she is now able to read, write and calculate her pension money because of the Kha Ri Gude mass literacy project.
“I no longer get robbed of my money by children when I send them to the shops, I can calculate my money correctly. I can even go to the bank by myself, without asking for my children’s assistance. I am able to put a signature where it is required, because of Kha Ri Gude,’ Molebale said.
She gave her testimony on Wednesday during a Kha Ri Gude rally in Pretoria, in Gauteng.
The mass literacy Kha Ri Gude project was launched in 2008 to help some 9.6 million illiterate South Africans become numerate and literate in one of the country’s 11 official languages. To date the project has reached some 3.4 million people, said Kha Ri Gude chief executive Morongwa Ramarumo.
Ramarumo said that the project accommodated the visually impaired, hearing impaired and people with disabilities, free of charge. Basic Education Minister Angie Motshega urged attendants at the rally to report people attempting to charge for the classes to the department of education.
The project has focused especially on women, elderly people, people with disabilities and the youth. It still needs to reach around 1.5 million people to meet its target.
About Kha Ri Gude
The Kha Ri Gude programme rests on community volunteers to net a wide skills base; it encourages those with a completed high school education, degreed professionals and community leaders to register to become teachers. Volunteers monitor and evaluate the programme to improve it, and are also expected to spread word of the free classes, which are conducted at homes, churches, community halls, schools and prisons.
The curriculum offers mother tongue learning, with literacy and numeracy supported by life skills information. The life skills component is rooted in the students’ daily lives, to provide a concrete grounding in areas such as:
- health (e.g. HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention; nutrition and sanitation);
- civic education (e.g. human rights, conflict resolution and management; peacebuilding and gender and racial relations);
- environmental management and conservation; and
- income generation or livelihood development.
The programme also tackles tasks such as filling in official forms, with some instruction in English to facilitate this essential life skill.
It also ultimately aims to provide South African citizens with their constitutionally protected right to basic education in their own language, promote social cohesion, and participate fully in the country’s economy.